Class of 2016: First Year Employment Outcomes

By Lisa Maletsky & Mary T Calhoon
Office of Student Persistence Research
Nevada Career Studio

Where do University of Nevada, Reno students end up when they graduate? It’s the question on the mind of any college senior who walks into the Career Studio. Increasingly, it also is the question of prospective students and their families, university alumni, state legislators, and employers. Data about graduates’ career outcomes when they first leave UNR is an important demonstration that a degree from UNR offers a great return on investment.

In 2015 the Nevada Career Studio began conducting a survey of all graduating students to find out more about where they land in the first year after graduating from UNR. The survey was constructed and delivered based on national protocols defined by the National Association of Colleges and Employers’ (NACE). Three cycles of the survey opened a month before each graduation and remained open for one year after graduation. Students had the ability to respond or update prior responses at any point while the survey was open. Results for the Class of 2016 (including students who graduated in August 2015, December 2015, and May 2016) were published in June of this year.

The survey data was able to account for the career outcomes of 55% (2,022 out of 3,704) of total graduates, after allowing for administrative follow-up to supplement direct survey responses (for example, recording students’ updates to LinkedIn profiles). Therefore, the findings provided an excellent snapshot of immediate post-graduation outcomes. Continue reading ‘Class of 2016: First Year Employment Outcomes’ »

Universal Access: Enhancing the commencement experience for all

By Melisa Choroszy, Associate Vice President, Enrollment Services & Commencement
      Natalie Ehleringer, Program Officer, Office for Prospective Students
      Lexi Erwin, Manager, Prospective Student Events and Programs
      Deserie Tillman, Program Officer, Admissions and Records

Learn more about our Accessibility and Technology commitment and policies.

“Accessible” means that individuals with disabilities are able to independently acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services within the same time frame as individuals without disabilities, with substantially equivalent ease of use. In our presentation at NAACO, we identify many of the implications universal access has for Commencement Ceremonies, including the need for captioning, the availability of programs in large print and in braille and other considerations. We also review accessibility planning features for commencement ceremonies, such as staffing projections, individual assistance, and cost projections. Our pursuit of universal access puts us at the forefront of universities. We are going beyond accommodations and creating truly accessible systems for students.

We invite you to review our presentation and work with us to ensure your systems are accessible.

Download (PDF, 517KB)


Help! Research Based Approaches for Improving Service Utilization and Student Success

By Perry Fittrer, Ph.D.
Assistant Director of the McNair Scholars Program 

As the new academic year begins, Student Services is gearing up to provide students with a wide range of support services. However, many students may never seek help from these carefully crafted services and programs. Why is this? How do we increase service utilization? How do we encourage students to get the help they need, when they need it?

Help-seeking research on college students is vast and varied with much emphasis placed on seeking psychological help (Li, Dorstyn, & Denson, 2014). However, research on help seeking for academic purposes is less prevalent. Academic help seeking can be defined as “an act of effort; that is, the student is actively using available resources in order to increase the probability of success in the future” (Ames & Lau, 1982, p. 414). Karabenick (2003; 2004) frames academic help seeking across five primary constructs, which are instructive in developing an understanding of how students seek help:

  • Informal vs. formal help: Preferences for the source of help being from an informal source such as a friend, or from a formal source such as a service.
  • Instrumental: Help which allows the student to develop skills needed to address the issue themselves later on.
  • Executive: Help that addresses the immediate issue and does not build future skills.
  • Avoidance: Real or perceived barriers that prevent students from seeking help.
  • Threat: Real or perceived socioemotional costs of seeking help for students.

Positive help-seeking behavior can be a predictor of academic outcomes (Ryan & Shin, 2011) and students with lower GPA’s tend to report higher levels of avoidance (Fittrer, 2016). Given that positive help seeking may be important for student success, several strategies can be implemented to increase service utilization by mitigating the systemic and perceptual barriers to help seeking.  Continue reading ‘Help! Research Based Approaches for Improving Service Utilization and Student Success’ »

Multiframe Thinking & Lasting Change

By James Beattie, PhD
Associate Director, ASUN Center for Student Engagement

Higher education stakeholders are increasingly demanding efficiency gains in the form of measurable outcomes from Colleges and Universities.  In fact, Robst (2001) indicated, “Government officials suggest that using performance measures and limiting state appropriations for higher education will control higher education costs and force institutions to provide an education more efficiently.” (p. 730).  The changing landscape of higher education and the United States economy has resulted in decreasing financial support for institutions of higher education at both the federal and state levels, and as such, has compelled higher education administrators to strategically implement policy designed to create measurable efficiencies.  One trend of efficiencies under scrutiny on a national scale are graduation rates; both in terms of percentages and timeframes.  Attewell and Monaghan (2016) stated, “Low completion rates and increased time to degree at U.S. colleges are a widespread concern for policymakers and academic leaders.” (p. 682).

The creation of positive and lasting change in retention and graduation on college campuses is an amorphous challenge that requires an adaptable holistic view encompassing students, administrators, and organizational culture and must be addressed from all four frameworks of Bolman and Deal—Political, Structural, Symbolic, and Human Resource.  If higher education administrators fail to address all four frameworks, they will have a limited view and will miss vital information that could facilitate positive and lasting change for retention and graduation rates.

Take for example the Nevada System of Higher Education initiative to move to a 30 to complete model.  In order to create positive and lasting change administrators need to address all four of the following frameworks. Continue reading ‘Multiframe Thinking & Lasting Change’ »

Where are all of the women?

By Amy Koeckes
Associate Director, Student Engagement Outreach

The Associated Students at the University of Nevada (ASUN) student government was founded in 1898 at the University of Nevada, Reno and currently has 24 elected student government positions per academic year. Research conducted through University archives shows, in ASUN’s 100+ year history, the students have elected a woman president only six times. The last time a woman held the president’s office in ASUN was in 2007.

Why is there a lack of women holding leadership positions in undergraduate student government at the University of Nevada, Reno?

To explore this question, I dug into the data for the past six undergraduate student government elections at Nevada. At first glance, the data indicates that women are less likely to win an office within student government. On average women were elected to 37% of the available positions in the past six years.

If we look more closely, for instance, at the 2016 ASUN Elections, out of the 43 students who ran for office, 16 identified as female. Of that number, 9 won an elected office within student government. Just over half (56%) of the women who ran won an office. The data shows women can win, but because fewer run, only 39% of the available elected positions are then held by women.

According to the University of Nevada, Reno’s common data set for Fall 2016, the university had 17,770 undergraduate students and 9,321 or 52% identified as female. So, the real question is, “Why is it that the University has more women attending, but fewer running for elected offices?” Continue reading ‘Where are all of the women?’ »

Gender Role Stress – How GRS might help explain sexual assault on college campuses

By Lisa Maletsky, MPH
Coordinator, Student Persistence Research

The Office of Student Persistence Research assessed sexual assault in two campus-wide surveys conducted in 2014 and 2016. Results from the most recent 2016 survey are consistent with the sexual assault literature (NETMAT presentation of survey highlights is available on the “Presentations” page of this blog). For example, the majority of respondents who identify as victims of sexual assault are female (87%). The majority of victims identified the perpetrator as male (90%) and as someone they know (89%). Sorority members and fraternity members are more likely to identify as victims as well (19% and 7% respectively). A quarter of male victims hesitate reporting their victimization because they are afraid it is not important or will not be taken seriously. Finally, a majority of all respondents believe alcohol facilitates sexual opportunity (59%) and alcohol was in fact consumed prior to a majority of victim reports (65%).

These gendered disparities indicate that social constructions of gender and gender role stress (GRS) may function as possible mechanisms underlying sexual assault. Gender role stress (GRS) is the experience of anxiety related to one’s perception that they are not performing their gender role adequately; individuals with stereotypical views of gender are more likely to experience this stress (Pleck, 1981). For men, the traditional masculine gender role is defined by power, dominance, extreme self-reliance, competitiveness, restricted emotionality, aggressiveness, and demonstrations of sexual prowess (Cohn & Zeichner, 2006; Unger, 1979). Research has connected male GRS to increased levels of aggression, emotional lability as well as emotional restrictiveness in tender situations, lower self-esteem, misogynistic and sexist attitudes, sexual prejudice, and sexual violence in particular (Cohn & Zeichner, 2006; Copenhaver, Lash, Eisler, 2000; Eisler, Skidmore & Ward, 1988; Saurer & Eisler, 1990). Thus, men who hold a narrow definition of manhood may use sex and sexual dominance to bolster feelings or perceptions that they are “real men.” Male GRS may also account for the reluctance men feel about identifying as victims of sexual assault because victimization is a threat to their masculine identity. Continue reading ‘Gender Role Stress – How GRS might help explain sexual assault on college campuses’ »

Building a standard for student media advisers

By Blythe Steelman
Coordinator, Student Publications and Marketing
ASUN Center for Student Engagement

“…you’re not going to find a one-size-fits all job description from people who do this.” — anonymous interview participant

“This” means advising student media organizations. In my role at the University of Nevada, Reno, I advise four different student media outlets: The Nevada Sagebrush, Insight Magazine, Brushfire Literature and Arts Journal and Wolf Pack Radio. I did not stumble into this job by chance, but rather sought it out after completing a year-long thesis research project that examined what the role of a college media adviser truly is. Simmons (2009) and Turner (2008) have written about the importance of advising college media organizations, and College Media Review (2015) calls it one of the challenging and rewarding positions someone could hold. However, while many have worked to defend the importance of advising these organizations, I was interested in the experience of advising these organizations. How does it differ from advising student government or general interest clubs? Is it more involved and does it mean being more of an educator than an adviser?

What I found in my thesis research is broad and far-reaching; participants talked about prepping students for the future, aiding in student success, building relationships with students, letting students take charge of the organizations, and many other experiences (Steelman, 2016).

I talked to 12 advisers and I received 12 different answers. But the truth is that you could talk to 100 advisers and receive 100 different answers. There are common threads of experience, but what I found most interesting during my interviews is how many people talked about the lack of standard job descriptions or structure for this position. Continue reading ‘Building a standard for student media advisers’ »